Indonesia appoints noted lawyer to defend Komodo against New7Wonders

The government appointed noted lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis to settle its recent dispute with New7Wonders Foundation, which has said it may suspend Indonesia’s Komodo National Park from the New 7 Wonders of Nature finalist list next week.

Indonesia’s Culture and Tourism Ministry announced the appointment before a number of local public figures who had campaigned for Komodo park, including celebrities Olga Lidya and Marcella Zalianty.

The ministry's director general for marketing Sapta Nirwandar asked them to continue their campaigns despite the possible suspension.

“We want justice. The voting has been done since 2008; they cannot just dismiss us because we don’t want to house [the event to declare the winners]. Not only Indonesians, people from other countries also take part in the voting,” Sapta said, as quoted Saturday by

He said there was a clause saying New7Wonders had a right to eliminate participants failing to meet requirements in a deal Indonesia had agreed on while registering Komodo in the voting.

“But, that is if we commit a sin. Now what sin have we committed?” Sapta said.

He reiterated Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik’s statements saying the possible suspension was a threat due to Indonesia’s refusal to host the declaration of the vote winners because it was too costly.

Sapta also said although New7Wonders was said to have signed a contract with a private consortium in the country regarding the hosting of the declaration event, the ministry had heard nothing about that.

New7Wonders has said in response to Jero’s statements that it has “never asked the [Indonesian] government to pay anything”.

Earlier: Issue: Komodo suspension from New7Wonders

Indonesian president to open new airport in Lombok

The beginning of March will see the airport being dedicated by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono after all security and safety checks have been completed. Once all the test runs have been finalized the President will be at the ceremony for the opening which is taking place nearly a year behind schedule.

The project has suffered a series of problems and delays due to arguments over land rights, security problems and the stealing of construction materials. There have also been questions asked over the quality of the runway and technical issues related to the control tower but these are all set to be solved before March.

The airport is expected to bring many more visitors to the island and the government is looking to reach a target of 1 million tourists to both Lombok and neighbouring Sumbawa by 2012. The rise in visitor numbers will result in more people using hotels Lombok and will see further development of the area.

Delicious Surprises for Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year is around the corner, time to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with a scrumptious array of special Chinese dishes.

Chinese cuisine always offers delicious surprises to whet the appetites of food lovers. One of the must-eat delicacies during Lunar New Year celebrations is nian gao or sticky cake made from glutinous rice.
Legend has it that nian gao is used as a gift for the Kitchen God during Chinese New Year’s celebrations and is said to bring wealth and prosperity in the coming year. John Chu, executive chef at the JW Marriot Hotel in Jakarta, recently shared his tips for making nian gao.
The basic ingredients include glutinous rice flour, vegetable oil, water, coconut milk and sugar.
“Put sugar into boiling water until it is dissolved. Then put the glutinous rice flour in a large bowl, pour in the sugar and water mixture slowly with the coconut milk until the mixture turns into dough,” said chef Chu.
“You have to be careful when mixing the ingredients to make a smooth batter. If you pour the sugar water too quickly, it will make balls in the batter.”
To get some color, chef Chu suggested adding carrot juice to the basic dough.
He said people put the dough in various cake tins that produce shapes like koi, sunflowers and golden bars, and steam them for around one hour.
The hotel offers the nian gao in three flavors — traditional, traditional golden and coconut milk.
Besides the sticky cakes, food lovers can also try an array of Chinese delicacies.

Full article by Triwik Kurniasari

Indonesia's Bali sets sights to draw in 2.7 mln foreign tourists

Indonesia's Bali province set sights to draw in 2.7 million foreign tourists by 2011, the Jakarta Post quoted an official as saying on Monday.

"In 2010, we received about 2.5 million foreign visitors, beating last year's target of 2.3 million. This gives us a good reason to believe that we will be able to attract 2.7 million foreign visitors this year," Head of Bali Tourism Agency Ida Bagus Subhiksu said over the weekend.

Subhiksu pointed out two key incidents that helped raise Bali' s profile on the international stage in 2010, namely the release of the film adaptation of Eat, Pray, and Love starring Julia Roberts, which was partly filmed in Bali, and President Obama's visit to Indonesia.

"Both events provided Bali and Indonesia with additional exposure on the global stage. I believe we will reap the fruits of such exposure in the coming months," he added. In 2008, Bali received more than 1.9 million foreign visitors and increased to 2. 2 million the following year.

There has also been a rise in the number of domestic visitors to the island. Nearly 2.9 million Indonesians visited the island in 2008, 3.5 million in 2009 and 3.7 million in 2010.

Loloh, A Magical Traditional Drink

If you often have dinner or lunch in Balinese restaurant serving surely Balinese authentic dishes you will be aware that Balinese fare is rich of various herbs and chili and coconut milk. And even though these ingredients result in good taste but consuming in large amount can affect to the healthy. Balinese people have a secret to balance the body after consuming strong tasty Balinese food.

When you eat Balinese dishes in large amount your stomach will be a little weird. You can feel that weirdness just like air fills your stomach and it becomes hard to defecate. For this problem, Balinese has a secret named Loloh. Loloh is a kind of traditional drink made from any kind of leaves and other ingredient like honey or young coconut. This beverage is effective to relieve the effect of those strong ingredients.

There is various kind of Loloh. The most popular one is Loloh Cemceman originally from Bangli Regency, made from Cemceman leaves. A renowned restaurant 'Bagong' selling Loloh Cemceman to be a perfect mate for Balinese tasty grilled fish and steamed fish. Bagong management knows well that for a strong-taste dishes should be balanced with something 'cooling' to make stomach comfortable.

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Banana Inn Hotel & Spa in Bandung

Located close to shopping paradise Rumah Mode Factory Outlet in Bandung, Banana Inn Hotel & Spa offers rooms with free internet and a flat-screen TV. Facilities include an outdoor pool.

All rooms of Hotel & Spa Banana Inn are equipped with air conditioning, a minibar, and tea and coffee making facilities. Room service is available 24/7.

Banana Inn’s spa offers a variety of health and beauty treatments, including relaxing massages. Guests can also sing along with the latest hits at the Carrera Karaoke room.

Open-air restaurant Paprika Bar & Grill serves local and international barbecue dishes. B’Leaf CafĂ© serves a variety of dishes and drinks in a cosy atmosphere.

Banana Inn Hotel & Spa is less than 500 metres from Pendidikan University.
Jl. Setiabudhi No.191 / 40153, 40111 Bandung (Show map)
Recommended Bandung Hotels by

Dining in the Dark: A Journey in Taste in Bandung

Great dishes tantalize all five senses. Delicious aromas hit the nose well before food hits the tongue, while the sounds of sizzling meat or bubbling sauces can add to a wonderful gustatory experience. And for many chefs, of course, presentation is everything.

But what would the experience of eating be like if you took away the sense of sight?

The first restaurant to embrace the concept of pitch-black dining was opened in 1999 by Jorge Spielmann, a blind minister, in Zurich.

The idea was born of the many nights Spielmann had friends over to his house for a meal. Some of his sighted-guests would use blindfolds in honor of their host, and many of them said they greatly enjoyed eating while blindfolded because it sharpened their other senses during the meal.

Encouraged, Spielmann decided to open the Blind Cow restaurant, which quickly became very popular in Zurich.

Since then, the concept has spread to venues from New York to London where guests are asked to wear blindfolds or dine in a pitch black room. Now the concept has made its way to Bandung, with the opening of Blind Cafe and Restaurant.

“We wanted to offer our guests something different,’’ said Arie Kurniawan, the owner.

Arie said Bandung’s pitch-dark eatery is the only one in Southeast Asia, though he has visited restaurants with similar concepts in Beijing and Melbourne.

Blind Cafe and Restaurant
Cihampelas Walk Jalan Cihampelas, Bandung
Tel. 022 206 1082
Salads from Rp 19,000
Main courses from Rp 27,000
Desserts from Rp 15,000

Full article by Sylviana Hamdani
Bandung Hotels